Rotator Cuff Tear

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The rotator cuff is a group of muscles closely wrapped around the shoulder. They work to keep the ball centred in the socket when we move our shoulder. The muscles can be torn through general wear and tear or after an accident/ fall. If one or more muscles are torn, the movement of the shoulder is no longer smoothly controlled. As a result the shoulder may become weak and painful.

Mostly this is a result of chronic wear and tear or overuse. Sometimes this can happen after a heavy fall or injury directly to the shoulder. It is quite common in the elderly population and the decision for surgery is based on clinical findings. If you suffer from persistent pain and weakness, you need to have it repaired.

Frequently asked questions

Will it be painful?

It may be several weeks before you feel the benefit of the operation. Following the operation, it is important that you take your pain medication regularly to keep the pain under control. This will help you to do the exercises that the physiotherapist will provide you.

The amount of pain varies from patient to patient, therefore take the amount of pain relief you need.

Do I need to wear a sling?

You will need to wear a sling for up to 4 weeks initially post-surgery. This is to protect the repair in the initial phase of healing. It is also for your comfort. The sling needs to be worn all of the time, except for washing, dressing and doing your physiotherapy exercise.

Sleeping- Keep your sling on when you are sleeping until we advise to remove it. For the first few weeks- you may find it more comfortable to sleep on your back initially, with a pillow under your operated arm for support. This will support your arm so that it doesn’t fall backwards. You may also find it more comfortable to sleep in a semi-sitting position.

When can I go home from hospital?

The majority of patients go home on the same day.

When can I return to work?

You can return to sedentary jobs after 2 weeks as you feel able. For more manual jobs you should wait until after 12 weeks following your surgery.

Do I need to do exercises?

Yes, you will be given exercises and should be supervised by a Physiotherapist. The aim of these is to stop your shoulder stiffening up.
Here is a video of the procedure. you can contact me using the details on this website to book a consultation if you think you may have a cuff tear.